Makeover Proposed for East Main Street
Construction could begin in 2016.
Plans are in the works to repave E. Main Street and add sidewalks and a shoulder, starting with the stretch from Pine Street to Route 495.
Improvements, scheduled to start in 2016, will consist of box widening and repaving the roadway to provide a consistent roadway cross section and maintain the existing two 11-foot travel lanes and add two 4-foot paved shoulders. The hump where the old railroad tracks were may also be leveled out to create greater visibility.
The project will also include the installation of a 5-foot wide sidewalk on the south side of E. Main Street. The sidewalk will be a hot mix asphalt walk with granite curb. A hot mix asphalt berm will be placed on the side of the roadway without sidewalk.
A formal closed drainage system was proposed, which includes catch basins with hoods and sumps and provide an appropriate level of pre-treatment prior to discharging to the watersheds. This will bring the stormwater management up to state standards.
“There will be a catch basin every 300 feet, or more,” said Joseph Magni of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., a transportation, land development and environmental services company.
Magni said these basins would stop any rainwater from running off roadways and into people’s yards.
According to Highway Superintendent Keith Silver, there has been no major reconstruction of the roadway for at least 20 years.
“I’d like to make it more user-friendly,” he said. “It’s time to do this.”
Magni said that this stretch of roadway is classified as Level 2 in importance, which is the same as Route 24. There is a traffic volume of 10,000 vehicles a day. About 9.1 percent of that traffic are trucks. The current condition of the roadway is rated at a pavement condition index of 64 out of a possible 100, which is considered poor.
Approximately $2.5 to 3 million of state and federal funding will be issued to the town for road construction.
“It takes several years to go through the permitting and design process plus you got to assume money won’t be available right away, so I would assume that perhaps the money will be available in 2016,” Magni said.
Added contingency, Massachusetts Department of Transportation involvement, survey and permit costs will be necessary as well. Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District will be the conduit in which funds will flow. The Town of Norton will be responsible for 10 percent share of survey, permitting and design.
“Maybe this design would cost this community $300,000. It would cost Keith probably twice that to repair a mile roadway, so at $300,000, it’s a bargain,” Magni said.
Selectman Robert Kimball also noted that Silver has been saving Chapter 90 funding for this project.
“There will be no override,” he said.
The proposed improvements are intended to be constructed entirely within the existing 40-foot-wide layout and will conform to all Massachusetts Department of Transportation design guidelines and engineering directives. No design waivers or land take-ins are anticipated to construct this project. However, there may need to be several temporary construction easements required to perform the necessary re-grading beyond the limits of the roadway and sidewalk.
“We are going to reconstruct the road so it will last a generation or more,” Magni said.
At least 20 telephone poles will need to be moved for this project. Not only will this make way for the shoulders and sidewalks, but it will also help round off the entrance of S. Washington Street for higher visibility.
During construction, two lanes of travel will be open with the traffic shifting onto the shoulders once they are paved.
Any traffic or street lights will not be paid for by the state and will come from municipal money. The speed limit will remain the same.
Plans to finish E. Main Street from Route 495 to Easton will commence once the first phase is underway. The whole stretch could not be done all at once due to high costs.
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